Two Bible Wonders

El Greco ChristI think we can say that two wonders of the Bible actually go together.

Wonder #1: The Lord Jesus certainly lived a human life, with a human body like ours–and a human soul like ours. But we cannot successfully psychologize Him. Because His human soul enjoyed an interior communion with Almighty God that we cannot fathom.

He behaved like an admirable man in just about every respect. But: If He did not, in fact, know things about God’s plan that only His mind knew, then we would have to dismiss Him as a lunatic. The speech we hear at Holy Mass today: either the words of the uniquely knowledgeable prophet or the ravings of a madman.

So, to put Biblical Wonder #1 in a nutshell: Jesus of Nazareth possessed, during His pilgrim human life, divine knowledge.

Wonder #2. From the depths of this ineffable divine knowledge that Jesus possessed, He expressed this particular mystery, namely: All the dead bodies that fill the tombs, and cemeteries, and columbaria of the earth–all of them will rise.

ezekiel bonesNow, our own humble human knowledge allows us to detect the existence of God–the immeasurable power which has brought all things into being. But we see only a march of time that appears to end with death. Jesus, however, tells us what we don’t know and can’t see now: God wills not death and an end, but life and a glorious eternity.

The prophet Ezekiel foresaw it: Piles of bones, looking at first like so much wasted calcium strewn on the ground, suddenly rattling and chirping and forming again into the noble human body. The Lord Jesus confirms this with his divine knowledge: This rattling, and chirping, and re-forming will happen, not just in one boneyard, but in them all.

The two wonders go together. 1) Jesus’ oracular knowledge and 2) the mystery of life’s ultimate triumph over death. No co-incidence there. The Lord Jesus knows only what He Himself will bring about.

Natural Evil

Jeremy Hazell

The “Intelligent Design Debate” has been going on a long time:

If the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in a random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say.

But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom, and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God.

–St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, died A.D. 373.

…We are praying hard for everyone in Haiti. May all who are unaccounted-for be found safe.

Port-au-Prince Cathedral, January 14
We pray for the repose of Archbishop Serge Miot and all the dead.

Many souls certainly went to their deaths without proper preparation; may God be merciful.

We pledge ourselves to help everyone in need.

But before we panic and go reeling off into uncharted spiritual territory–losing perspective on ultimate reality because of the incessant buzzing of the television–let’s remind ourselves of the words of the expert demon to the junior tempter in Screwtape Letter #28:

I sometimes wonder if you young fiends are not kept out on temptation duty too long at a time–if you are not in some danger of becoming infected by the sentiments and values of the humans among whom you work.

They, or course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil, and survival as the greatest good. But that is because we have taught them to do so.

Do not let us be infected by our own propaganda…Whatever you do, keep your patient as safe as you possibly can…

Capuchin Crypt in Rome
The long, dull years of middle-aged prosperity are excellent campaigning weather for us.

…My dear mom regards my desire to live among skeletons as “extreme.”

If you want extreme, check out the crypt-level chapels of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome.

…Big Hoya game against Seton Hall this evening.

Chvotkin has the call at 7:00 on AM 980. Jeremy Hazell is a dangerous sharp-shooter. Root hard!

Rattle and Hum

There are many readings from Scripture on the Solemnity of Pentecost.

ezekiel bonesMy favorite one is Ezekiel 37:1-14:

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones.

He made me walk among them in every direction so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain. How dry they were!

He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life? “Lord GOD,” I answered, “you alone know that.”

Continue reading “Rattle and Hum”